The Sassicaia was one of the original ‘Super-Tuscans’. A cuvee based upon the Bordeaux grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, was atypical in Tuscany where Sangiovese was the key varietal. Initially, the cuvee was unpopular with local critics used to lighter wines that did not necessarily need the long ageing that Sassicaia required. Therefore from 1948 to 1967 the wine was only consumed at Tenuta San Guido. However, some cases of the wine were aged and the wine proved to be excellent with age. Subsequently, in 1968 the wine received its first commercial release.
The innovative decision to plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc at Tenuta San Guido was partly due to the winemaker noting the similarity between the Tuscan terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux. ‘Graves’, or ‘gravel’ in French refers to the rocky terrain which distinguishes the Bordeaux area; similarly, the gravely vineyard sites in Tuscany impart the same characteristics on Sassicaia, “stony ground”, as its cherished French brother.